South Australia


ESA event: The Commonwealth’s Trade Landscape in a Post-COVID World


From: Thursday August 19, 2021, 5:30 pm

To: Thursday August 19, 2021, 7:30 pm

The Economic Society of Australia (South Australia Branch) invites you to an evening event with special guest speakers, Professor Peter Draper and Dr Dessie Ambaw from the University of Adelaide.  The topic of the presentation is 

The Commonwealth’s Trade Landscape in a Post-COVID World

The address will be followed by a Q&A session.


International trade has lifted billions of people out of poverty. It fuels economic growth by increasing employment, production and the provision of a wider variety of goods and services at lower prices. However, two unprecedented recent crises are significantly affecting global trade: the US–China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the latest available trade data of Commonwealth countries, and empirical and regression analyses, this paper assesses: (1) the impact of the US–China trade war on Commonwealth members’ trade; (2) the effect of the trade war on Commonwealth members’ supply chain trade; and (3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Commonwealth members’ trade.

Our results show that the US–China trade war has led to trade diversion in favour of some Commonwealth countries. Second, our supply chain empirical and regression analyses show that the trade war has led to higher Commonwealth parts and components exports to the US. Third, we found that global supply chain trade is being significantly disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Commonwealth countries also conducted several trade policy interventions after the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. Because of that, there has been a sharp decline in the export and import of COVID-19 related medical supplies for Commonwealth member countries. Within the Commonwealth member countries, India and UK have applied the largest number of import and export policy interventions.


About the Speakers

Professor Peter Draper 

Peter is Interim Head: School of Economics and Public Policy, and Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade in the Faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Research Foundation; non-resident senior fellow of the Brussels-based European Centre for International Political Economy; Associated Researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE); and a Board member of the Australian Services Round table. In 2020 he was co-chair of the Saudi Arabia-led Think 20’s Task Force 1 on Trade and Investment. For ten years he was, respectively, member, chair, vice chair, and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Global Trade and FDI system. He was also Senior Research Fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs. Previously, in South Africa’s national Department of Trade and Industry he was head of bilateral economic relations East Asia then Mercosur), and head of the economic analysis and research unit in the Department’s International Trade and Economic Development Division. Prior to that he was an academic teaching economic history and political economy, and headed the Department of Economics and Economic History at the then University of Durban-Westville (now University of KwaZulu-Natal). He is a recipient of an honorary Doctorate degree from the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany.

Dr Dessie Ambaw

Dr. Dessie Ambaw is a researcher at the Institute for International Trade (IIT). Prior to this position, he was a data analyst consultant at the World Bank (International Finance Corporation) and a teaching associate at the School of Economics, the University of Adelaide. In addition, Dr. Ambaw has previously worked as an economist at the Denmark Statistics and a lecturer at Bahir Dar University. His research interest focuses on exploring the key drivers and barriers of foreign direct investment, trade, firm productivity, technology diffusion, trade policy, and the economic causes of civil conflict. His research papers are published in peer reviewed economic journals such as Applied Economic Letters and Oxford Economic Papers.

COVID-19 Guideline 

This event will be run in accordance with the most current COVID-19 guidelines issued by SA Health. Please do not attend this event if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms; have travelled or been exposed to any destinations designated by SA Health; or have had exposure to a confirmed or suspected positive case of COVID-19. You will be required to check-in on arrival.

Event Details 

Venue: Harry Medlin North Room, level 4, Union House, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005. 

Map of Harry Medlin rooms, Union House

Date: Thursday 19 August 2021 

Time: 5:30pm- 7:30pm

Drinks and canapé will be provided. 

Registration is required.

Attendance is free for current members of the Economic Society of Australia and Women in Economics (WEN).  Tickets for non-members are $20. Membership is available at the event.

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We hope you can join this event!




Bookings are now closed


Harry Medlin North Room (level 4)

Union House, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005

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